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War and Peace Newbies Read-Along | Week Two

Welcome one, welcome all, to the second of my weekly progress reports proper for War and Peace. You may have seen my first post summing up how my first week reading Tolstoy’s tome went but, for those unaware, I’m taking part in the War and Peace Newbies Read-along, as hosted by Laura from Reading In Bed.

Every week I will be doing a short progress wrap-up/my thoughts so far on the book, very low key, probably in the form of bullet points, and likely not always coherent. So don’t expect eloquence is what I’m trying to say. Expectations lowered accordingly? Ok, then let’s see how Week 2 went, which covered Part I, Volume II of War and Peace…

(spoiler alert: I put gifs in this post to try to disguise the lack of content)

 

And those, dear readers, were my oh so insightful comments about Volume I, Part II of War and Peace. As you can tell, me and this book didn’t really get on this week, but I powered through and Week 2 is now over, we’ll be moving into week 3 and Volume I, Part III. Hopefully in this next week/part we’ll pop back to St Petersburg and I’ll have a clue what the hell is going on because, you know, I’d prefer to understand what I’m reading as a general rule so, here’s to hoping!


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6 responses to “War and Peace Newbies Read-Along | Week Two”

    • I started to think that too – that’s why when I saw a readalong happening I signed up and decided to give it a go. The whole ‘what am I gonna lose if I fail’ mindset, you know? Well I’ll lose nothing apart from a few months of my life. :P

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  1. I relate to this post! Nikolai is the BIGGEST man baby. I don’t know Blackadder, so I’ll have to take your word, haha.

    I feel the same way about Andrei, and usually I *like* big brooding misunderstood types. But not this time.

    I really liked that Tolstoy opened with the regiment getting dressed up – they dressing back down. It was almost slapstick.

    Overall, this chapter is just frightening, in terms of what war really is… no one knew what they were doing, just men posturing for each other, punctuated by periods of senseless slaughter.

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    • Haha I’m glad someone else is on the same wavelength here. :P

      Lieutenant George from Blackadder is basically a satire of the rich people who used to become officers in WWI basically because they were rich and of good family, like an old boys’ club who went to Cambridge or Oxford and think going off to war will be “a bally old laugh”. It’s all very English. So I’m pretending like Nikolai is basically Russian George. It amuses me if nothing else.

      Yes! Normally I’m all for the big, brooding misunderstood boys, but he’s just not doing it for me. I’m more than happy to have my opinion changed by the rest of the novel though!

      I feel like if part 1 was a satire of society, part 2 is a satire of war at its “finest” – so much bureaucracy and farcical communication and lots of people basically marching around from one bit of land to another. It’s not exciting and it’s not sexy, but that’s the reality of war, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think this was a hugely important point for Tolstoy: war is NOT exciting, war is NOT sexy. Just think: back in the 1860’s when this was published, the public had no frame of reference for what war was like (unless they fought). They didn’t incredibly realistic movies like we do. Many didn’t have access to quality literature about it. This was a pretty important public service announcement, basically. Stuff like this is often so lost on us, today. I’m continually trying to remind myself of that.

        Liked by 1 person

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